If you’ve visited Gainesville Skate Park, chances are you’ve seen Nick Borlie.
Since the space opened in the summer of 2020, the 28-year-old has spent most weeks in the park, passing down his knowledge of the board to both kids and adults.
“I tell all of them to be safe and careful skateboarding because it’s dangerous sometimes, but the main thing is to have fun,” Borlie said. “That’s all it really is about. That’s why I still skateboard.”
Borlie said the action sport caught his attention when he was 8 years old. He remembers seeing a pack of skateboarders in Atlanta and thinking “it was the coolest thing ever.” Plus, Borlie said Marty McFly in “Back to the Future,” who skateboards in the movie, added to his interest.
At around 11 years old, he gave skateboarding a shot.
“I never stopped after I got my first board,” he said. “I’ve personally just found such a cool thing with exploring and looking for new places to skate. With skateboarding, you never really reach a level of perfection. It’s an unlimited source of things to learn or become better at.”
Borlie said he grew up skateboarding in Gainesville, and later became a sponsored athlete in his mid-teens to early 20s. Like with most extreme sports, he said becoming a professional skateboarder requires a hefty amount of dedication and dealing with “a lot of pain and injuries.”
Instead of going that route, Borlie shifted his gaze toward the other side of the industry.
“I started getting older, and I realized that I wanted to be involved with skating forever,” he said. “I thought the business side of things would be the best way to keep at it and have my own personal skate shop and ways to continue the culture I grew up with.”
In 2019, Borlie established Mobile Skate Shop Inc., which sells skateboarding equipment out of a large renovated UPS-style truck. He is in the works of opening the headquarters for his business inside a warehouse, next to the Gainesville Skate Park.
Once it’s operating, Borlie said he aims to use the space for a permanent storefront — selling skateboarding equipment and customized rails/ramps — and offering indoor skateboarding lessons.
Each week, Borlie teaches classes both privately and through Gainesville Parks and Recreation. His clientele encompass a wide range, from 3-year-olds to older adults.
With his lessons through the city, Borlie said he teaches groups of students; whereas, the private option is one-on-one and slightly more expensive. The instructor said the private classes are also open to family members or friends who want to learn together. On several occasions, he has given lessons to kids and their parents.
Through his years of teaching skateboarding, Borlie said he most enjoys seeing the happiness in his students’ eyes when they land a new move.
“There’s always a new goal everyday and new things to conquer,” he said. “Usually, the kid’s first grind or their first real trick, it’s really cool to be able to witness that.”
For parents on the fence about signing their kids up for skateboarding lessons, Borlie encourages them to consider the benefits of the sport.
“It’s a perfect way for a kid to interact with other kids,” he said. “It’s a solo sport, but yet you make a lot of friends. And, it’s really a limitless thing, there’s so much to learn.”
For questions about private and Gainesville Parks and Recreation skateboarding lessons, call Borlie at 678-463-1188. More information about Mobile Skate Shop Inc. can be found on the business’ Instagram account